stormy trial sketch

Trump Trial #1 Begins

The first of Donald Trump’s four pending criminal trials began on Monday, 15 April 2024, with jury selection.  Perhaps not coincidentally, it was also Tax Day, and without doubt, the ordeal of Trump on trial will be taxing for us all.  Trump kicked off the event with a series of his trademark untruths as he bloviated to reporters before entering the Manhattan courtroom for his trial’s appointed start time of 9:30 AM EDT.  The former president characterized the proceedings as “persecution,” “an attack on a political opponent,” and “an assault on America,” averring that “every legal scholar says this case is nonsense” and an “outrage.”

None of that is true, but Trump did state one accurate fact:  “Nothing like this has ever happened before, there’s never been anything like it.”  Indeed, this is the first criminal prosecution of a former US president and current presidential candidate in history.  Congrats, Donnie!  You’ve just set two new records!

Briefly, the case revolves around attempts to keep secret two affairs Trump had with high-profile adult entertainment personalities, one a porn film star, Stormy Daniels, the other a Playboy model, Karen McDougal, to prevent them from going public with their stories just before the 2016 election.  One he paid directly for her silence, the other was scooped up by the National Enquirer, run by Trump ally David Pecker, who paid for exclusive rights to her story but declined to run it.  The context for this October 2016 flurry of suppression was the release of the now infamous Access Hollywood footage, where Trump revealed a pattern of sexual assault, in very crude terms.  These revelations, coming on the heels of that tape’s release, could have been the death knell for his campaign.

stormy trial entry
Donald Trump enters the courthouse on the first day of his trial; asteroid Troemper conjunct the Sun puts him in the spotlight, while a square to asteroids Achilles and Nemesis shows him as vulnerable (Achilles) to downfall or ruin, self-created (Nemesis)

So Trump instructed his lawyer Michael Cohen to buy off Daniels, in such a way that he wouldn’t be directly linked to the payout.  The method devised was for Cohen to pay Daniels $130,000 himself, out of his own pocket, then seek reimbursement from the Trump Organization for legitimate “legal expenses.” 

To be clear:  the extramarital affair wasn’t illegal; paying for a nondisclosure agreement wasn’t illegal; falsifying the business records to make the hush money look like a normal legal fee is only a misdemeanor under New York law.  What makes the acts taken criminal is the attempt to use those falsified records to cover up their attempt to influence the outcome of a federal election, which is a crime.  And that’s why Trump finds himself in court, possibly facing up to four years of jail time for a conviction.  Michael Cohen has already served three years for the same crime, found guilty in 2018.  Now it’s Trump’s turn.

stormy trial courthouse
The New York County Supreme Court building in Manhattan is the venue for Trump’s trial; asteroid Manhattan exactly conjoins Jupiter (ruling courts), also conjunct Uranus, noted for controversy, and squares asteroid Donn (for The Donald)

A chart set for the time and date of the trial’s start shows all players present and accounted for.  A 25 Gemini Ascendant shows asteroid Whitehouse 4036 conjoined from 29 Gemini, still a celestial marker for the former president, exactly with asteroid Askalaphus 4946, a point noted for bearing witness.  Indeed, many of those testifying will be former White House employees, making this a logical pairing.  

As well, asteroid Storm 12182 appears exactly on the 25 Sagittarius Descendant, a nod to porn star Stormy Daniels (AKA Stephanie Clifford), whose hush money payments may constitute election interference.  Also angular, asteroid Alvin 1367 at 15 Sagittarius, for prosecuting Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg; as well as asteroids Hopi 2938 and Hicks 2220, at 26 and 29 Sagittarius, for longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks.  Finally, Damocles 5335, a point representing the threat or peril hanging overhead, about to descend at any moment, appears at 4 Pisces, on the 0 Pisces MC, the focus of all eyes.

stormy trial bragg
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is prosecuting the case against Trump, with asteroid Alvin angular on the Descendant for the trial’s start, and asteroid Bragg conjoined or opposed by asteroids representing five key witnesses, showing his control of the case

The chart, unsurprisingly, is very tapped into Trump’s natal chart, with the Ascendant conjunct his 22 Gemini Sun, the Descendant conjunct his 21 Sagittarius Moon, and the IC at 0 Virgo aligned with his 29 Leo Ascendant.  There’s also a cluster of points constellating on his natal 24 Taurus Midheaven (ruling reputation, status and place in the world):  namely, Jupiter (the courts) and asteroid Manhattan 12464 (the venue), together at 20 Taurus, and Uranus at 21 Taurus.  Can you say “controversial (Uranus) celebrity (Jupiter) trial (also Jupiter) in the Big Apple (Manhattan)?”

There’s another point here as well, asteroid Madeline 2569 at 25 Taurus.  This represents former Trump White House secretary Madeleine Westerhout, who helped facilitate the reimbursements to former fixer Michael Cohen, who laid out the cash to pay off Stormy Daniels.  The combination of Madeline with Uranus could indicate an explosive testimony, something unexpected and volatile.  Heretofore Ms. Westerhout has flown under the public radar in this case, but this may be her moment in the sun.

stormy trial sleepy
Trump is already looking defeated, on his first day in court; the trial’s Ascendant conjoins his natal Sun, the Descendant conjoins his Moon, and the IC aligns with his Ascendant

Also representing her, asteroid Westerhout 5105 at 16 Aries joins a gaggle of PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) that congregate about asteroid Bragg 11150 at 7 Aries, again for DA Alvin Bragg.  If we can judge by celestial proximity, it seems Bragg has got his ducks in a row and is keeping witnesses close, with asteroid Bragg also conjoined asteroids Clifford 4276 at 10 Aries, for Stephanie Clifford; Cohen 23735 at 11 Aries, for Michael Cohen; Davida 511 at 2 Aries and Pecker 1629 at 15 Aries, for National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, who bought Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story in a “catch and kill” move to silence her tale of a Trump sexual encounter as well.  Speaking of Karen McDougal, asteroid Karen 2651 opposes Bragg from 15 Libra, for an astounding total of five key witness asteroids aligned with that of the prosecutor!

stormy trial clifford
Although the case revolves around election interference, porn star witness Stormy Daniels has become its most visible face, sharing the spotlight with Trump; no surprise, with asteroid Storm (for Stormy) angular, trine the Sun and at station, and asteroid Stephania (for her legal name of Stephanie Clifford) also at station, opposed asteroid Donn

Stationary points are also pivotal.  Although the case isn’t about sex with a porn star per se, nor paying for her silence, but rather election interference, Stormy Daniels (her professional name)/Stephanie Clifford (her legal name) has become hyper-identified with how the case is referenced, its most visible public face (beyond Trump himself, of course).  As such, it’s no more than fair that the aforementioned asteroid Storm should be at station, as well as angular.  Storm will turn retrograde on April 22nd, but already inhabits its station degree.

Ms. Clifford’s impact is also seen in asteroid Stephania 220 (variant of Stephanie), which is stationary at 18 Leo, having turned direct April 10th.  From there, Stephania opposes asteroid Donn 4689 at 17 Aquarius, for Trump himself, depicting their adversarial stance.

stormy trial cohen
Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has already served time for the same crime, and is a pivotal witness in this trial; asteroid Cohen conjoins asteroid Bragg, the prosecutor in this case

And let’s pause here to flesh out Donn’s status in the chart, while we have its attention.  The polarity with Stephania is part of a Grand Cross, including squares to that Jupiter/Manhattan/Uranus combination in Taurus, and also squared a pairing of asteroids Narcissus 37117 and Hybris 430, at 12 and 13 Scorpio.  Narcissus, of course, represents pathological self-focus, to the exclusion of all else, while Hybris is named for the Greek goddess of excessive pride and arrogance.  Really not sure what prompted me to include these in the interpretation, but you can decide for yourself what possible bearing these might have on the case.

Donn is widely opposed asteroid Blanco 4478 at 8 Leo, here a cosmic stand-in for Trump lead defense attorney Todd Blanche (with both Blanco and Blanche rooted in the Latin “blancus,” meaning “white”).  Trump is also connected to Blanco via a wide square from asteroid Troemper 28130 (our celestial referent for The Donald) at 29 Aries.   The almost-out-of-orb relationship may reflect a variance among approaches between lawyer and client; they’re together in the goal, but apart in how to attain it.

stormy trial blanche
Trump with lead defense counsel Todd Blanche, seen as asteroid Blanco, in a loose T-Square with asteroids Donn and Troemper; their wide stance may signal differences of opinion on how to approach the trial

Finally, Donn also appears at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, a “fated” pattern which implies predestination.  The points at its base, inconjunct to Donn and sextile each other, are asteroid Lie 26955 at 11 Cancer, and asteroid NOT 2857 with Veritas 490, at 13 and 17 Virgo.  Lie is self-explanatory in this context; Veritas is the Latin word for “truth,” and if it appeared alone, it might indicate a crux of sorts, with Trump torn between duplicity and veracity.  And indeed, roughly half the country will see him in one or the other light.  But the presence of NOT here, a general disqualifier, conjoined Veritas, says whatever he spouts is false.

stormy trial jury box
The jury box where twelve of Trump’s peers will decide his fate, based on witness testimony and other evidence; asteroid Askalaphus (the witness) appears on the Ascendant exactly conjunct asteroid Whitehouse, and many of the witnesses will be former Trump White House employees

But will he spout?  Although Trump always expresses himself as avid to testify and defend himself in his various trials, somehow, he never seems to make it to the witness stand.  In this case, we see Donn in sesquiquadrate to Askalaphus at 29 Gemini, the witness, and asteroid Troemper 28130 at 29 Aries, exactly sextile.  So there’s certainly the opportunity (sextile) for Trump to testify, but the sesquiquadrate’s affinity with stress, difficulty and agitation says to me that he won’t afford himself of it.  If he does, he should beware:  points connected by this aspect often work at cross-purpose to each other, and Trump’s (Donn) testimony (Askalaphus) could do him more harm than good.  (Consider further that these aspects also apply to TNO Chaos 19521 just one degree past Askalaphus, at 0 Cancer, a state of affairs that would surely ensue in the defense should Trump take the witness stand.)

stormy trial westerhout
Former White House aide Madeleine Westerhout facilitated the reimbursements for the hush money to Michael Cohen, and is another key witness, as seen by asteroid Westerhout conjunct asteroid Bragg; asteroid Madeline’s conjunction with Jupiter and Uranus suggests she may have a shocking, unexpected (Uranus) impact on the trial (Jupiter)

Regardless, back to the stations.  There’s one more point standing still in the heavens, about to make a reversal of direction.  That’s asteroid Hicks at 29 Sagittarius, which turns retrograde April 21st.  Up to now, Hope Hicks has remained loyal to Trump, though she has cut herself loose from his immediate orbit, and isn’t participating in the 2024 campaign.  Could this celestial turnabout mirror a terrestrial change of heart, with Hicks throwing her former boss under the bus in her testimony?  With her PNA at station, Hicks is facing a crossroad, a crisis of thought and action.  We can only hope she’s made the right choice.

stormy trial hicks
Hope Hicks was a long-time Trump aide, intimately involved in all decisions; with asteroid Hicks angular, squared asteroid Bragg, her testimony may be key, and at station, she may flip on her former boss

We’ve already noted that asteroid Troemper appears at 29 Aries; from there, it appropriately conjoins the spotlighting Sun at 26 Aries, with Trump as the star of his legal shitshow.  There’s also a square from Pluto at 2 Aquarius, ruling criminal conduct and transformative experiences, often resulting in disastrous outcomes.

Further, Troemper squares the Moon at 23 Cancer, indicating public opinion (as well as the emotional rollercoaster he’s bound to be on, and place of residence – a guilty verdict could result in trading Mar-a-Lago for less pleasant accommodations).  With the Moon are asteroids Niobe 71 at 23 Cancer, Achilles 588 at 26 Cancer, and Nemesis 128 at 27 Cancer.  Niobe is another indicator of prideful arrogance that leads to a fall; Achilles represents weakness or vulnerability, an inherent flaw which threatens to destroy the individual; and Nemesis suggests downfall, ruin or destruction, often self-created.  Put it all together, that’s a pack of unpleasantness I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  Well, maybe just this one exception.

Trump inamorata and Playboy model Karen McDougal was also paid for her silence, another key witness in the case; asteroid Karen opposes asteroid Bragg

Judge Juan Merchan is a tougher cosmic nut to crack, with no exact asteroid matches for either name.  But we have asteroids Johney 90398 and Johnny 3252 to approximate Juan (“John” in English), and with Merchan cognate to merchant, and merchants running markets, a bit of astrologic legerdemain leads us to asteroid Mercado 17089, Spanish for “market,” as a marker for the judge’s surname.

stormy trial merchan
Judge Juan Merchan will preside over the trial; asteroid Johney (for Juan) conjoins asteroid Donn, while asteroid Johnny squares asteroid Troemper, showing Merchan as a restrictive (conjunction), stressful (square) energy in Trump’s life currently

Asteroid Johney at 20 Aquarius conjoins Donn at 17, while asteroid Johnny at 24 Cancer joins the lunar stellium and squares Troemper, showing Trump (Donn) hemmed in and restricted (conjunction) by Merchan (Johney), who is also causing stress (square) to the defendant (Troemper), who sees the judge (Johnny) as an opponent or menace (Nemesis) pointing up his vulnerability (Achilles) to the public (Moon).  Asteroid Mercado exactly conjoins Mars at 18 Pisces, also conjunct Saturn at 15 Pisces.  Saturn rules penalty and punishment, being called to account, as well as affecting career prospects.  Mars implies energy, and with seven jurors already seated in just two days of trial, Merchan is clearly speeding things along to the best of his ability (pre-trial estimates said the jury selection process could take as much as two weeks or more).

stormy trial pecker
“National Enquirer” publisher David Pecker was a Trump friend and ally, paying Karen McDougal for her story, then refusing to run it; asteroids Davida and Pecker both conjoin asteroid Bragg, for another vital prosecution witness

So what about justice?  Where, if at all, does it factor into the equation here?  Asteroids Themis 24 and Justitia 269, named respectively for the Greek and Roman goddesses of justice, are the chief asteroid markers of fairness and impartiality, relating to courts, judges and juries.  This duo has been running together for some time now, doubling down on their effects, and are currently sited at 13 and 7 Gemini.

As such, they crossed over the trial’s Ascendant some while before it commenced, but are still very visibly rising.  Bragg’s exact sextile to Justitia at 7 Gemini is encouraging, as is Donn in trine, and Troemper semisquare Themis, with the sense that Trump may finally be brought to justice.

stormy trial trump supporters
A few dozen Trump supporters protested his trial outside the courtroom; with asteroid Troemper squared the Moon, the majority of the public is just not on his side

As the trial unfolds, these two will creep ever closer to Donald Trump’s natal Sun at 22 Gemini.  Themis arrives there first, on May 9-10, with Justitia following suit on May 28-30.  The trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks, putting its terminus somewhere in late May to early June.

And that timing makes me smile.

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

One comment, add yours.


Great post! I never thought of using Askalaphus to represent a witness, thank you for that! I will definitely pay attention to the testimony of Westerhout and Hicks! Bizarre that he keeps dozing off. Looking forward to your continued coverage of Trump’s exploits, for posterity’s sake!

Leave a comment